Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
100 Greatest Videos Games Of All Time
Robin Williams: The Big Interview
Empire Visits The Hobbit's VFX Team
Nick Frost:
My Movie Life

The World's End star's pick of the flicks
4Music's Size Does Matter
Introducing your new favourite app
Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

PACKSHOT
Pokémon X And Y

GAME DETAILS
Released
18 October 2013
Format
Nintendo 3DS
Developer
Nintendo / Game Freak

LATEST GAME REVIEWS
Tales Of Xillia 2
3 Star Empire Rating
Metro Redux
4 Star Empire Rating
Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition
4 Star Empire Rating
Ultra Street Fighter IV
4 Star Empire Rating
Last Of Us Remastered, The
5 Star Empire Rating



5 STAR REVIEWS
Last Of Us Remastered, The
5 Star Empire Rating
Mario Kart 8
5 Star Empire Rating
Titanfall
5 Star Empire Rating
Dark Souls II
5 Star Empire Rating
Forza Motorsport 5
5 Star Empire Rating

Pokémon X And Y


submit to reddit

Pokémon X And Y (2013)
Review
Pokémon is a series that Nintendo could very easily get lazy with. Bang in a few hundred new easily-merchandisable monsters, flash them past impressionable kiddies, then go to sleep on freshly made beds of cash. Some previous entries have done just that – looking at you, Ruby and Sapphire – but for X and Y, we’re very pleased to find there’s been a near-total overhaul, one bringing the series up to date for players young and old.

The most immediate improvement is visual, finally delivering the 3D treatment fans have been begging for for years. Unfortunately, only certain key locations are given the extra eyecandy, but even the more traditional top-down paths benefit from modelled characters rather than sprites. In battle, attack animations are significantly improved, now more likely to reflect what the Pokémon has actually done. This does lead to very occasional lag, but it was never game-breaking.

At its core, the gameplay remains the same, the goal being to catalogue every Pokémon in the land and train them through turn-based combat. Battles most often pit one ‘mon at a time against another, though paired and triple battles aren’t uncommon. Sky Battles force you to fight with flying critters, a newly introduced category no doubt born of awareness that every player carries one in their party simply to use the fast-travel Fly move. That in itself will be a godsend in X/Y, since the Kalos region the game is set in – based on France, with architecture and historical notes to match – is gargantuan. Surprisingly, there isn’t a vast array of brand new Pokémon to catch, with only a meagre 69 introduced.

Instead, Nintendo has focused on what’s going on under the hood, so to speak. Pokémon is a game of numbers, from overall level number and health points, to hidden values determining attack potency or evasion. A new Super Training mode, consisting of mini-games played on the 3DS’ lower touch screen, lets you improve all these base statistics, unlocking the potential to vastly alter each individual Pokémon. For instance, put the effort into raising Pikachu’s speed stat and teach it the move Electro Ball, which powers up in relation to speed, and you’ll end up with an immensely powerful electrical mouse.

Similarly, O-Powers let you temporarily boost your whole party’s stats in certain areas, though these buffs require spending energy before battles, which replenishes over time. The level of customisation that’s now available to tactically minded players is frankly staggering. Another new addition, Mega Evolution seems more spectacle though, allowing certain creatures to briefly evolve beyond their ‘final’ forms. While it brings a power spike, there’s not as much depth to the feature as there could be. Vastly improved online trading and battling systems (accessible at all times from the bottom screen, rather than having to trek to a Pokémon Center in-game) are the icing on the cake for what is easily the finest Pokémon game to date.

It may still look cute and simple but there’s a wealth of content and strategy to be found under its adorable shell.


Reviewed by Matt Kamen

Write Your Review
To write your review please login or register.

SPECIAL FEATURE
The 301 Greatest Movies Of All Time EMPIRE READERS' POLL: THE 301 GREATEST MOVIES OF ALL TIME
You turned out in your hundreds and thousands, and here are the results... Browse the full list


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
The Many Deaths Of Sean Bean
The actor talks us through his on-screen offings

Rogues Gallery: Powers Boothe
Sin City's Roark talks us through his most memorable baddies

Richard Attenborough: In Celebration
Saluting a man who made a lasting impact on cinema and beyond…

Exclusive: Luc Besson Talks Lucy
'There is no bullshit with Scarlett Johansson'

Video: Daniel Radcliffe Talks What If...
On Gordon Ramsay, swearing and date movies

The 24 Best Film-Related Ice Bucket Challenges
The viral craze that won’t quit takes in some of Hollywood’s finest

Who Shot First? The Complete List Of Star Wars Changes
An exhaustive chronology of George Lucas' post-release tinkering

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get 6 Issues Of Empire For Only £15!

Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month!

Subscribe today

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save maney on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Get 6 issues of Empire for just £15!
Get the world's greatest movie magazine delivered straight to your door! Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire iPad Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  iPad  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)